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Lane signs with Lady Crusaders

Young girls typically grow up playing with dolls, wearing make up and looking for the right shoes to match their dress. Monica Lane is anything but typical.
Lane grew up playing softball, wearing No. 1 on her jerseys and looking for the most comfortable cleats to add extra velocity to her fastball.
It was the drive and determination from an early age that has helped the Warren County High School senior earn a softball scholarship to play at Tennessee Temple University for the next four years.
Lane signed a letter of intent Tuesday to pitch for the Lady Crusaders, making her the fourth Lady Pioneer athlete to sign with the Chattanooga school.
Lane will join her best friend Kimba Warden and Lyndi Dodd, who each signed soccer scholarships in November, and Bree Smith who is currently a freshman on the Lady Crusader basketball team.
With her family and friends present at Warren County High School auditorium, Lane signed and smiled as Lady Pioneer coach David Upton and teammates gathered in support.
Tennessee Temple coach Randy Crawford was very complimentary of his newest Lady Crusader, one he thinks can make an instant impact on the program.
“Monica was mentioned to me by another person in the administration and we brought her in and worked her out,” said Crawford. “We knew we were getting a ball player. With our program being only two years old, she’ll have a chance to prove herself and earn a spot.”
Lane’s stature, standing at 5-foot-4, often led to her being overlooked, but Tuesday’s signing proved superstar softball players can come in even the smallest packages.
Lane won’t begin her senior season until late February, but she has already been honored many times for her skill on the softball diamond.
Lane is a two-time All-District 6-AAA selection who has been starting since the moment she stepped foot on the Warren County High School campus.
Last season, Lane garnered team recognition as the top offensive player for the Lady Pioneers when she hit .350 with 12 doubles and one home run. Lane finished in the top two in every offensive category, including scoring a team-high 22 runs.
Lane’s prowess wasn’t just in the batter’s box though. She also had three wins in the circle and struck out 33 batters in 34 innings pitched.
While Lane has spent time starting at second base for Lady Pioneers, pitcher has been her position since she started playing at age 6. Lane spends summers playing on traveling softball teams where she has honed her skill in the circle to the point where she was able to attract the interest of several schools.
Lane’s pitching is what caught Crawford’s eye and is what she wants to do for the Lady Pioneers and Lady Crusaders in the final five years of her career.
Extending her time on the softball field is all Lane ever dreamed of doing and no matter how many road blocks she faced, signing her scholarship made the work worth it.
“Pitching and playing softball is what I’ve always wanted to do and what I’ve been doing my entire life,” said Lane. “When I was 6, I would stay outside and pitch into the front porch steps until the sun went down. It’s my passion.”
Before Lane’s sophomore season, she was hospitalized and had to undergo surgery at Vanderbilt to fix a blockage in her stomach from scar tissue which formed after a previous surgery she had as an infant. The operation, which occurred one month prior to the start of the softball season, didn’t hinder Lane from making a comeback.
After a month of bed rest, Lane was able to rehab and start for the Lady Pioneers on her way to earning all-district honors.
Lane visited multiple schools which all showed interest in acquiring her array of talents, but the Lady Pioneer decided Temple was the place she wanted to be.
“The recruiting process has been fun and I am overwhelmed at the amount of emails and calls I received,” said Lane. “There are many factors that go into finding the right school. It’s like putting a puzzle together and all the pieces have to fit.
“After visiting schools out of state, I looked instate and the moment I stepped foot on Temple’s campus, the puzzle was complete. I knew it’s where I would call home the next four years.”
Lane plans on studying education while at Tennessee Temple in hopes of becoming a high school teacher. Lane also is interested in coaching the sport she loves.

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